Microsoft Research Guru Craig Mundie Plots Course For Retirement

As 2013 ushers its way into existence, Mayans be darned, Microsoft will find itself planning to plug a hole that hasn't needed plugged in a very, very long time. The company's Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie has announced that he'll be turning in his badge in 2014, after some two decades dreaming up big projects for the company. For now, he'll shift over to a new role as "senior adviser" to CEO Steve Ballmer. Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer, has been chosen to take over some of Mundie's duties in the meanwhile.

It's been a wild few months for Microsoft in terms of personnel. Just a few months back, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky announced that he was heading for the exits, and now Mundie has a plotted course for that same neon sign. During his time thus far, Mundie was reportedly responsible for "Microsoft’s early efforts in software for handheld organizers, cars and televisions." Moreover, he engineered and crafted tech policy in areas that are extremely important today -- things like "privacy and security." He also oversaw the fabled Microsoft Research unit, not to mention relationships with governments in far-flung locales.

What will this mean for Microsoft? From a consumer viewpoint, not much, but internally it'll certainly be a hole that needs filled. He knows Microsoft's DNA, and teaching that to someone else isn't exactly the easiest of chores.